Those words came to my mind one day, out of the blue, and somehow remained for the rest of the year. Whether I was on a pepper plantation in Cambodia, in a just-totaled car on a snowy January day back in the States, in an English school in Taiwan a couple months later, in grad school in Cincinnati, or anywhere else, the overarching truth was always that God was there–leading, protecting, and providing for me every step of the way. And, as I was soon to realize, that was all that really mattered. Amidst the relatively frequent traveling, both in the US and overseas, this year was full of unforgettable moments of discovery, joy, fear, gratefulness, disappointment, and anticipation. Yet as I traveled down roads I never would’ve dreamed of before, met people from all different walks of life, felt my heart drawn in certain directions, and continued to think, pray about, and see how future decisions would be impacted by these relationships and experiences, I never ceased to be humbled and amazed by God’s wisdom and guidance. So many things had to be precise in order for situations to turn out as they did, which was true of both the “best and worst” of times.
That being said, there are certainly still questions waiting to be answered. Nevertheless, as long as I am following the Lord (even if all I know is the next step), I believe His steadfast love and faithfulness will continue to sustain me, His peace will guard my heart and mind, and His presence will fill me with joy, as I’ve experienced over this year. This Christmas and new year, may you also find the deep and irrepressible joy and hope that come from Him alone–Immanuel.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11